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Mnangagwa mourns Nkiwane

by Staff reporter
08 Jul 2021 at 18:15hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has mourned liberation struggle stalwart Abraham Nkiwane describing him as a fearless unflinching patriot who never hesitated to make personal sacrifices to liberate Zimbabwe.

Nkiwane (93) succumbed to prostate cancer at Bulawayo United Hospitals (UBH) where he was admitted on Tuesday.

He was among the first freedom fighters to smuggle weapons into the then South Rhodesia in 1962, inspiring the protracted armed struggle.

In a statement today, Thursday, President Mnangagwa said Nkiwane served the country with distinction and he trained some of the freedom fighters who led the armed struggle.

"The death at the UBH of one of the leading nationalist stalwarts, and veteran of our armed liberation struggle, Abraham Dumezweni Nkiwane, was a great blow to our nation and a source of deep grief to me personally," said President Mnangagwa.

"I first met late Cde Nkiwane in Lusaka, Zambia, in 1961 where he had been tasked to represent and open offices for ZAPU. Even though I was still a Youth Leaguer under United National Independence Party (UNIP) then, I closely interacted with Cde Nkiwane at the ZAPU Party offices in Lusaka, as he went about laying groundwork for militant resistance to white settler colonialism in the then Southern Rhodesia."

He said Nkiwane inspired a generation of freedom fighters including himself.

"He was a solid patriot who never hesitated to take sacrifices, and to go an extra mile to advance the cause of freedom and Independence for our country, Zimbabwe. Indeed, numerous groups of young Zimbabweans who had escaped the then Southern Rhodesia to take up arms against the colonial settler regime passed through his caring hands on their way to various training bases in Tanganyika and beyond," he said.

"His fearless cast and deep love for our national independence was on show when he made history as the first cadre to smuggle arms of war into the then Rhodesia in 1962, in furtherance of our struggle. That courageous act inspired many of us who would follow in his footsteps."

President Mnangagwa said Nkiwane was part of the ZAPU's Special Affairs High Command where he was appointed Chief of Personnel and Training.

"During which time he worked with leading veterans of our struggle like the late Dumiso Dabengwa, Ackim Ndlovu, Robson Manyika, and Cdes (Ambrose) Mutinhiri and (former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko who are still with us today. He thus was among a generation of cadre-commanders who laid the groundwork for Zimbabwe's Armed Liberation Struggle, including securing training facilities for our cadres in far-flung countries such as Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana and Egypt on the African Continent, and the then Soviet Union, North Korea and Cuba beyond our continent," said President Mnangagwa.

He consoled Nkiwane's family saying the liberation hero leaves indelible marks to be cherished by future generations.

"On behalf of the Party, ZANU-PF, Government, and on my own behalf, I wish to express my deepest condolences to the Nkiwane Family, especially to his children who have lost a loving father and guardian. May they find solace in the outstanding contributions which Cde Nkiwane made towards the Independence of our Nation. Indeed, his contribution to the struggle will forever stand out prominently in the history of our nation," he said.

Source - chronicle
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